Gold recovery using inherently conducting polymer coated textiles
The ability of inherently conducting polymer (ICP) coated textiles to recover gold metal from aqueous solutions containing [AuCl4]− was investigated. Nylon-lycra, nylon, acrylic, polyester and cotton were coated with a layer of polypyrrole (PPy) doped with 1,5-naphthalenedisulfonic acid (NDSA), 2-anthraquinonesulfonic acid (AQSA) orp-toluenesulfonic acid (pTS). Textiles coated with polyaniline (PAn) doped with chloride were also used. The highest gold capacity was displayed by PPy/NDSA/nylon-lycra, which exhibited a capacity of 115 mg Au/g coated textile, or 9700 mg Au/g polymer. Varying the underlying textile substrate or the ICP coating had a major effect on the gold capacity of the composites. Several ICP coated textiles recovered more than 90% of the gold initially present in solutions containing 10 ppm [AuCl4]− and 0.1 M HCl in less than 1 min. Both PPy/NDSA/nylon-lycra and PAn/Cl/nylon-lycra recovered approximately 60% of the gold and none of the iron present in a solution containing 1 ppm [AuCl4]−, 1000 ppm Fe3+ and 0.1 M HCl. The spontaneous and sustained recovery of gold metal from aqueous solutions containing [AuCl4]− using ICP coated textiles has good prospects as a potential future technology.